By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Indiana state health officials are reporting a probable case of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in a LaPorte County resident, prompting officials to urge Indiana residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
“Eastern equine encephalitis virus disease is rare in humans but can cause permanent complications and even death,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “While all Hoosiers are at risk for mosquito-borne diseases, northern Indiana residents need to be especially vigilant right now.”
In addition, as of Sept. 14, two horses in LaGrange County and one horse in Kosciusko County have tested positive for EEE virus.
In 2019, northern Indiana experienced a significant outbreak of EEE virus activity, resulting in 14 horse cases, one fatal human case and one positive mosquito sample.
While rare, EEE virus can cause serious illness and has a fatality rate of around 33 percent or higher in people. Many individuals who recover may still experience long-term complications. Symptoms of EEE virus include chills, fever, body aches and joint pain. Some people develop a more severe form of the disease affecting the nervous system and causing encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. People who are younger than 15 and older than 50 are at the greatest risk of severe disease if infected with EEE virus. People who think they may have EEE virus should visit a healthcare provider.
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